tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC August 11, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
unmatched, unmatchable magnificent self. >> james, we have to go now. james lipton, thank you so much for joining us this evening. the loss of robin williams. the news we're sharing with all of you, unfortunately, dead at the age of 63. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we begin tonight with the startling news that actor robin williams has died of an apparent suicide. williams' press representative confirming, "robin williams passed away m waway this mornin battling severe depression of late. this is a tragic and sudden loss. the family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this time. the marin county sheriffs office division establishing events through this timeline. 11:55 a.m. local time. marin county communications received a 911 telephone call reporting a male adult had been
located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in tiberon, california. police and emergency personnel were dispatched at 12:02 p.m. local time. male subject pronounced dead identified as robin williams age 63. an investigation into the cause, manner and circumstances of the death is currently under way. the sheriffs office coroner division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia. police say williams was last seen alive at his residence where he resides with his wife at approximately 10:00 p.m. last night. williams' wife susan schneider said in a statement this morning, "i lost my husband and best friend while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. i'm utterly heartbroken. as he's remembered, it's our hope the focus is not on robin's death, countless moment of joy and laughter he gave to williams." his films have a total box office gross of more than $3 billion, but that number fails to grasp the breadth of his genius as a standup comedian,
actor in both television and film across decades and decades. he dazzled tv audiences in "mork & mindy," took on serious films in "good will hunting and" "good morning vietnam" and "mrs. doubtfire" and performed a standup retune. joining me, mr. edelstein. really crush to hear this. i have to say, maybe it's some kind of generational point, but i find this one really, really, really, really hurts. >> if hurts terribly. and i think the devastation of hearing that he's taken his life is -- imagine that a man who did as much as he did. reminded us. remained in his own mind unfulfilled. and maybe in a way he was unfulfilled. back to those '70s and the early '80s. you think of someone whose mind seemed to work faster than
anyone alive. and possibly did. i mean, when you saw him when he got going on talk shows, it really seemed as if the jokes were being beamed in from ufos. you didn't know where he was coming up with this stuff. and i'm afraid to say that, and i saw him do standup and he was -- he was miraculous. he was superhuman. but you know, i don't know that movies ever really fulfilled him. in the way that i wish they had. i wish -- i wish we lived at a time when movies could be looser. could accommodate the kinds of spontaneity that he had. in a weird way, he never found, you know how will ferrell works with a guy named adam mckay. they create a feeling on the set. i don't think robin williams ever found, ever quite -- >> there's always something about williams -- i was -- my mother always loved robin williams. sort of been a devoted fan through her eyes and there was always, of course, something
about his presence that was so manic. that was what he was channeling when he was doing his best work. it was the mania being unleashed, like watching a dancing flame. and you didn't know -- >> it was. it would be very dark as well. and i don't think -- you know, he -- after "good will hunting" he has roles where he was a kind of a zany humanist patch adams where he would entertain children dying of cancer. there was an attempt on screen, on the big screen, at least, to try to bottle that energy and maybe try to domesticate it. try to take what was scary brilliant out of it. now, that's not to say he didn't deliver -- i mean, i think if you watch the king again, he played a role as a figure, kind of mad visionary that i think caught some of that manic energy, but also a lot of the darkness. that's a performance that i don't think is sufficiently
appreciated. "moscow in the hudson." >> great film. >> the patriot. deep melancholy. i think he connected with that role. it was also surprise fwliingly effective later in his career when he was cast as a serial killer in the film "insomnia" opposite al pacino. he seemed to relish having a chance to swear on screen and be nasty and cruel. you know, those were sides of his personality that didn't show up on screen. >> the kind of danger you talk about, feeling when you were watching him in his improvisational mode, not in the confines of scripted films. sometimes in some of those roles that really comes across -- i want to play this first appearance on carson "tonight show," you get the sense of watching someone who doesn't
himself know what will happen next. you feel it and there's an exhilaration and terror at the same moment. this was kind of how i think of him. this is robin williams on the "tonight show" for the first time. take a look. >> people always think performers don't get nervous. >> not at all. no, really. not me. no way. >> is there some reason you don't -- the fact you get nervous in. >> i suffer from severe dyslexia, too. i was the only child on my block on halloween to tgo trick-or-trout. here comes the young williams boy again. better get some fish. there you go. say hi to your mom and dad. >> where is home for you? or did you come from a home? >> all the people in the institution, tommy, if you haven't taken your medication yet, it's going to be fine. >> be back at 12:00. >> how are you, mr. williams? i'm real fine. look at this thing. look, flipper.
>> right now there's a saw man going, what are you doing? >> relax, relax, relax. it's okay. you're on tv. you're a nice man. you won't hurt me. >> thank you. >> don't be afraid. >> the sores went away. >> real men can stand up to herpes. >> everything there, david, all the nerves seems completely authentic. it's like this person channeling all the kind of crazily intense neuroronal energy into what he was doing in the moment, it feels unsettling and you cannot turn away from it. >> it's a high wire act that he played and he did it better having seen him live, i can tell you he tdid it better than anyone. let's not forget also he came of age in hollywood at really the height of the cocaine epidemic, and he was famously quoted as
saying that cocaine is god's way of telling you you make too much money. and i fear that like so many people, he felt at a certain point, he was shining so brightly he had to have something to keep his confidence up. and he never -- i don't know -- he sort of is like robert de niro, i think was maybe a buddy of his in that -- de niro's talked about it, too. there was a way in which they burned something essential out of them doing that. and, of course, his -- you always -- when you heard him on talk shows, he would speak with this great melancholy. >> yes. >> about that period in his life when he burned so brightly and yet it was also accompanied by insane terror. oh, the terror of -- to be performing at that level and try to keep it up. can you imagine? because he was better than anybody. how -- where do you go from what you just saw on carson?
where do you go from that? how can you ever capture that? how can you be sure of capturing that? >> david edelstein from "new york" magazine. >> joining me on the phone, mark harris for "entertainment weekly." i was going back through the most recent robin williams interviews and what struck me was a kind of palpable sense that he didn't feel -- the way that we're all talking right now about robin williams' career being remarkable and spanning decades and award winning roles and brilliantly talented, that he didn't feel that way about himself. it comes through in the most recent interviews about his career, about his finances, about the fact he'd gone back to rehab in 2006. there's this massive gap between -- and i'm always struck by this in one of these moments, the gap of perception between people watching from the outside, what it is like to live inside the head of that person. >> i think that's right. and, you know, as stunned and sad as we all are, in a way, we
are less surprised than we might be if this was news about someone who did not wear his heart on his sleeve as much as robin williams did. i mean, he was not someone who concealed what he was going through. whether it was struggles with substance abuse or health issues or emotional issues or insecurity. you -- he was open about many of the difficulties through the years that he faced. and i think that kind of openness also extended to many of his performances. i mean, over the years especially after "mork & mindy" in the early '80s when he started his clear as a movie actor, there were time in the lesser movies he made when we would recoil a little from the
source sort of sad clown thing he was often forced to do, the sentimentality through the laughter like patch adams. i think in a way in those parts williams was communicating something that was very, very true to him. which is that comedy for him was a way of masking pain, coping with pain, overriding pain, expressing pain, aside from all of the other really brilliant aspects about him as a comic artist and performing artist. he was a very true guy. i mean, there was real honesty. not just anarchy, but truth in his comedy. >> do you think we will remember him for his films? what role do you think we will remember him most for? >> well, you know, it's funny, i was listening to david edelstein earlier said that movies failed for the most part to harness the
really unique free wheeling, fast-movinging talent he had. he seemed hemmed in having to play one part. i think in some ways the big exception to that is the movie you didn't actually see him if which was "aladdin." that performance as the geni e s was -- >> that's right. >> -- one of the rare cases where the movie was able to keep up with him and it's sort of a tribute to the fact that robin williams made everyone else look slow. that it took a cartoon to keep pace with him. >> mark harris from "entertainment weekly." thank you so much, mark. >> thank you. if you're watching this right now and you have had thoughts about suicide and are depressed, i want to read this very important number to you. it is the national suicide prevention lifeline. and it is 1-800-273-8255. they are there at any second in the darkest, darkest, darkest moments. they are there. they are a phone call away and
you can pick up that phone right now. right now. and call them. there is much more news tonight. we will be back with more of it after this break. ♪ in the nation, the safest feature in your car is you. add vanishing deductible from nationwide insurance and get $100 off for every year of safe driving.
hands up, don't shoot! hands up, don't shoot! >> my hands are up, don't shoot. the chant of protesters in ferguson, missouri, after an unarmed teenager is shot and killed by a police officer. we'll bring the latest in an interview with the young man who says he saw it all, that's next. - - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines,
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outrage in ferguson, missouri, today, after police shot and killed an unarmed teenager saturday afternoon in broad daylight. here's what we know about the death of 18-year-old michael brown. after brown was walking with another individual on a road near the canfield apartments in ferguson, a northern suburb of st. louis, missouri. after an altercation, key elements which are disputed by police, brown was shot and killed by a police officer. police do not dispute that a police officer who has not been publicly identified shot and killed michael brown. police officer is on administrative leave pending an investigation. there was no dispute michael brown was unarmed. an individual who said he was accompanying michael brown has said in multiple interviews that he was walking in the street with brown when the police squad car pulled up. the officer said to get the f on to the sidewalk he recounted.
it was not but a minute from our destination and we'd be off the street, johnson said. again, this is the man who said he was with michael brown prior to and during the altercation. johnson told cbc news that after a pause, the officer reversed his car and the following ensued. >> he pulled up on the side of us, he tried to push his door open but we were so close to it that it ricocheted off us and bounced back toward him and got him a little upset. at that time, he reached out the win toe. he drnts get out of the car. he grabbed my friend around the neck. as he was try to choke my friend. he was trying to get away. an officer then reached out, he grabbed his arm to pull him into the car, so it was like the officer is pulling him inside the car. he's trying to pull away. at no time the officer said that he was going to do anything until he pulled out his weapon. his weapon was drawn. he said, i'll shoot you. or i'm going to shoot.
and in the same moment, the first shot went off and we looked at him. he was shot and there was blood coming from him and he took off running. >> johnson said he, himself, ducked and hid, but that brown kept running and the officer got out of the car. >> his weapon was already drawn when he got out of the car. he shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air, started to get down but the officer still approached with his weapons drawn. >> various news adowns refer to multiple witnesses, many of those witnesses unnames, but one who is willing to offer account on camera described the event this way. >> i heard gunshots fired, and i'm, like, oh my goodness, what's going on? i gathered all my things and looked back out the window. at this moment, he's running, chasing after michael down the street and gunshots are being fired repeatedly as well. i went from that window to my balcony where i then saw michael. he's running this way.
he turns his body toward this way. hands in the air. being compliant. he gets shot in his face and goes todown and dies. >> police officer offered a d disaccoundis accou different account. >> the officer had an encounter with two individual, up of whom is mr. brown who is walking down the road in canfield apartments. he spoke to the individuals about getting off of the street and perhaps taking the sidewalk. one of the individuals complied. the other did not. in fact, as the officer decided to get out of his car to continue the conversation, he was pushed back into the car and there was a physical confrontation in that car where, in fact, there was a struggle over the officer's gun. we do know, for example, that there was one shot fired within the car and then we're talking a look at the rest of the details of the investigation at this point to determine exactly what happened once police officer
exited the car. >> as the the fbi today announced its own investigation, many questions remain unanswered, including how many shots were fired and how many hit michael brown. in the wake of brown's death, outrage, protests continued today in the st. louis area for the third day running. protesters chanting, no justice, no peace. many protests including yesterday's were marked by intense interactions with the police. some instances last night in ferguson, rioting and looting erupted. meetings continued to take place in the st. louis area. a makeshift memorial sprung up for michael brown and the family, the 18-year-old planning to begin college classes today. called for justice, not viole e violence. >> the violence needs to stop. the support is all needed. all needed. but not the violence. >> joining me now is dorin johnson who saw the shooting and his attorney, freeman bosley jr. mr. johnson, you say you were walking with michael at that moment. were there other people on the street that could have witnessed
or corroborated your account? because obviously the police are telling a very different story than what you and some other witnesses have said. >> yeah. at the moment, at the time when we were in the street, before the officer pulled all the way on the side, no, i did not see anyone. my eyes were not looking for anyone. my ears were open, just talking to my friends. so before the officer said his first words, no, i didn't not see anyone. >> how quickly did this escalate? it sounds like from your account that it was sort of casual comment made by a police officer for the two of you to get off the street and it sounds like there was gunshots within, what, 60 seconds? what was the timeframe of this encounter like? >> the timeframe was a little just like you said. 60 seconds or less. it sped up so quickly. it got out of hands real quick, like, it wasn't even a minute
like you said. >> did michael reach and struggle the officer's gun as the police are saying he did? >> that's incorrect, sir. he did not reach for a weapon at all. he did not reach for the officer's weapon at all. >> you were able to see this interaction? >> yes, correct. >> were you scared in that moment? >> not scared yet, but more shocked at how the officer approached us. it really -- it's just more shocking than scared at that moment. >> mr. bosley, have you or your client, have you been approached by investigators? to seems like this is very key eyewitness testimony. >> well, what is interesting about this is that we have not, as a matter of fact, the naacp contacted the authorities and police department yesterday to make us available and make mr. johnson available and at that point, they said they had some other things going on. they did not want to interview
mr. johnson at that time and also wanted to indicate that mr. johnson ran away and was not really a person that witnessed everything that was going on. of course, we know that is not correct. >> well, mr. johnson, is there any doubt you were there with michael at that moment? >> sir, i did not leave until the last shot was fired, until i confirmed that my friend was not moving, that he was dead. that's when i took off running. >> is there a possibility based on your account of how things went down, do you believe that, say, a dash camera from the police officer's video would change in terms of how things were set up spatially? >> no, the way the officer approached us, if there was a dashcam on his car, all that it would have gotten is me and my friend walking in the street, and that's it. >> because the actual shots fired and michael's death came
when he was behind the police car, am i correct? >> his death came from behind the police car, but the initial shot we were on the side of the driver door of the police car. >> what was going through your head as you are now, you say, crouched behind a car watching a police officer chase your friend? >> i'm fearing for my life at this moment because at this time the first shot had already been fired and i notice my friend had been shot. i've been in situations before where gunfire has let out and i really don't take -- i feared for my life. scared. i didn't know what to do. and shockede edshocked. my body couldn't move at that moment. >> how close were you, michael? >> i didn't fully have to extend my arm out to touch michael or the officer. i was that close that i could touch both of them. without fully extending my arms. >> did michael at any point
strike out, lay hands on, assault the officer? >> he did not initially assault the officer. i didn't see it, at no point in time while i was standing in the officer's driver door window where he touched the officer or any type of threatening way. not whatsoever. >> how close friends were you and michael? were you tight? >> we weren't so much as close friends, childhood, but the time i met him, because i had recently -- i had just moved over in the apartments. when i met him, we just became good friends. >> what kind of person was he? >> he was a very cool person. quiet. calm. and gentle. >> dorin johnson and freeman bosley jr., his attorney, thank you, gentlemen, both. i really appreciate it. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> all right. the breadth of the protests in the community raise the
question, now, of course, of what is next. not just in this investigation, but in police community relations. meanwhile, st. louis county police chief says he supports the parallel fbi investigation. of course, the shooting that we saw this weekend comes on the heels of several high-profile incidences of people being shot by, or killed by police across the country. of course, the death of eric garner, which was ruled a homicide here in new york city in staten island after he was first questioned by police for the charge of selling untaxed cigarettes. there has also been a whole lot of different information released out in the wake of the death of michael brown. first accusations that he had been busted for shop lifting. so far there has been no corroboration of that. a lot of outreach, too, about how he's been portrayed, both in the images that have been circulated about him and what people have done to try to presume that they knew what kind of person michael was. joining me now, msnbc contributor goldie taylor who is
in ferguson tonight. goldie, what are things like in ferguson right now? >> you know, the tensions are still fairly high. although not quite as high as last night. i hear that there's an incident at a nearby mall, but we're not certain that it's related to the recent unrest. >> what is the context for what we are seeing in ferguson county? it seems to me that the -- there's some buildup that has happened before this incident happened over the weekend. >> well, i will tell you this, that north st. louis county is comprised of dozens of small jurisdictions, tiny townships, 20,000 people or less. and that those tiny townships over the last 30 to 40 years were all white. but now those townships are increasingly more african-american as in ferguson's case, some 85%, but if you look at the arrest rate, if you look at the traffic stops, disproportionately, they are african-american. especially when you start to look at citations and arrests and outcomes. so you're starting to see some
real tension begin to flare up between what's a fairly white leadership in terms of mayors and police chiefs and a black population and there's a bit of distrust from both sides. >> is there confidence among folks there, and i think i know the answer to this, but i will ask it, about there being a j genuine and thorough investigation? i cannot say and be the arbiter of the disputing account between the man you just saw who said he was with michael when he was shot and the police. >> sure. >> if it is the case that what happened happened in the way that witnesses have described it, it seems very, frankly, clear clearly a crime. >> i spent a good tereat deal o with him today and leaders from the naacp and other community groups today. i've been out here on the scene. i think there's still a great deal of distrust from the community for this investigation. i think there was a bit of relief, though, that the fbi has come in and either taken over the investigation or i think
it's a little bit unclear as to whether they're running a parallel investigation. there will be a department of justice monitor on this. i think the level of skepticism for the ferguson police even extends to the st. louis county police unfortunately. and so i think those police departments and others have a lot of work to do to rebuild their ties, to rebuild their binds with these communities that they're sworn to serve and protect. >> there is a sense, i mean, this is now -- there have been a number of high-profile incidents in which young black men, unarmed, have been killed. obviously trayvon martin comes to mind. there was an incident recently in a walmart star with a young man who's buying a toy weapon. we saw eric garner's death here in new york. there is this sense, and you saw it just explode across social media this weekend, what do we have to do to say that we are worthy of respect and dignity and life?
>> you know, i think that that is really the center question. i grew up here in st. louis. it still remains one of the most cig ga segregated towns i've run into in my lifetime. my parents told my brothers how to deal with themselves or athem to deal with themselves when they were in all-white communities. but they weren't even safe in their own communities where there was higher, you know, proportions of crime. this is about the value of life. when we look at investigation, web we look at how people are prosecuted, when we look at outcomes in terms of prison sentences. even when we look at the kind of media coverage that, you know, these deaths receive. they are quite different when you begin to look at race, at gender income. our justice system, unfortunately, it has a color. >> msnbc contributor goldie taylor in ferguson, missouri, tonight. thank you very much. >> thank you, chris. the unraveling of iraq, that's ahead. defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. easily absorbed calcium plus d.
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updating our lead story tonight. the death of actor robin williams. marin county sheriffs office is investigating the cause, manner and circumstances of williams' death. sheriffs office coroner division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia. 20th century fox released a statement tonight saying, "robin williams was a comedy giant. although we only knew him personally for a season, he was warm, funny. cast and crew loved him and rofed working with him. our hearts two out to his family and friends. he was one of a kind." williams had been battling depression, according to a statement from a press
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and a hint of sweetness on the other, it's a delicious way to get the nutrition you want. as i said when i authorized these operations, there's no american military situation to the crisis in iraq. the only lasting solution is for iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government, legitimate interests of all rockies and can unify the country's fight against isil. today iraq took a promising step forward in this critical effort. >> president obama praising the iraqis for making important progress toward forming a unity government today as u.s. air strikes on isis targets continue today in northern iraq. today the iraqi president nominated shiitehat dr as the new prime minister ending political deadlock since the country held parliamentary elections in april. according to iraq'sconstitution,
that gives new prime minister 30 days to form a president and means current prime minister nuri al maliki has 30 days until he's out of the job. president obama and vice president biden called al albadi today to offer their support and urge him to be as conclusive as possible. that won't be easy if maliki has anything to say about it. in a televised appearance today, he con dentdemned the appointme unconstitutional, decrying the u.s. for supporting it and ominously reminding iraqis he remains their commander in chief. last night in baghdad, security forces deployed around the city and locked down government forces in the green zone. maliki, you may recall, is responsible for the pro-shia policy seen by in as having opened the door to isis who courted the disaffected sunni in the country. if he keeps hanging on to power, baghdad could be on the verge of a coup. that's happening in the capital, okay, between ostensible allies between the united states government and current and
former allies. northern iraq, where isis seized large swaths of military, u.s. has begun to send weapons directly to kurdish forces fighting back against the group. it's a bid to keep the momentum headed in the kurds' direction after u.s. air strikes helped turns things around a bit during the weekend. >> reporter: definitely there's a sense something has shifted. last week in irbil they were panicking the possibility of isis fighters. something changed over the weekend. that something was the u.s. air strikes. we heard about u.s. aircraft shooting at a convoy of isis fighters that was moving on a kurdish line of defense just outside. that helped them. we also heard over the weekend the kurdish forces, the peshmerga taking two important towns that are just half an hour away. really key strategic towns because they're on the north/south route. again, they're only able to retake that territory because of
the u.s. air cover. so it has been really, really important, but saying that, fron li lines, they keep on shifting. yes, there's optimism up here, but the fighting is raging quite unpredictably all around the country. >> u.s. military continued its air campaign against isis today hitting four targets near mt. sinjar where isis is holding siege to tens of thousands of yezidi refugees. peshmerga opened a corridor for some yezidi to escape, but some remain trapped on the mountain in 100 degree heat with little food and water. why air strikes in iraq, but not syria. the obama doctrine, if there is one. we'll discuss, ahead. go, go, go, go, yes! let's go, drew. the "not-so-good more" would be them always watching you. go for it, paul! get open! come on, paul!
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it really has felt like the world is on fire. all right? it just, everywhere you look, there seems to be a war, or disaster, or foreign policy entanglement that seems head scratchingly impossible to deal with. of course, the critics of the president are happy to take a little victory lap and point to the president as the source of this. that is the question. what exactly is the president and the u.s.' role in a middle east that seems aflame right now and a world that seems teetering on instability, and would it be possible for the u.s. to anything to make it better or was the u.s. trying to, quote, make it better the source of that instability in the first place? joining me now, founder of women for women international and ali gharib, writer and foreign policy analyst. iraq is such a complicated situation and terrible in many ways. the yezidi, raw footage of these people, be clear about the moral stakes, unapologetic genocide
being committed against people because of their faith. there's a group of people that wants to extinguish every last one of them because of the god they worship. >> absolutely. >> right? >> that includes christians as well. >> includes christians as well. at the same time, i can't help but watch this and think there's something shakespearean about barack obama, man who's president of the united states because he opposed the iraq war when basically the entire governing class of the country did not, is now back ordering air strikes in iraq. >> well, as an iraqi, what does this look like? does this look like the u.s. being indivisive? does it look like the u.s. doing a good job of managing an impossible situation? or does it look like the u.s. making things worse? >> it has created. what we're seeing right now has not suddenly happened. it happened by president bush. president obama is a president of a country and he continues the legacy of the country. his legacy right now in iraq is constantly too little, too late. too little, too late.
>> but, okay, i've heard that from a lot of people. there's a sort of synergy between the too little, too late critique that you hear from iraqis and from john mccain, lindsey graham, neocons. there's an agreement on this. there is, though. >> all right. >> my question is, would more earlier be better? because if there was more earlier, my sense is we would be having a whole other set of discussions about what a cluster -- >> in defense of iraqis, john mccain and lindsey graham are talking about more bombs and not diplomatic pushes for stuff like, say, cutting off more arms to maliki unless he creates inclusive government and things like that. >> that's true. the question is how can the u.s. constructively intervene in the middle east? >> right. >> or not intervene? and the consistency of that is important. we an not look at iraq in an isolated way. iraq and isis and the division of the country right now is part of a longer strategy that includes saudi arabia, that includes egypt, that includes
syria, jordan, and all the neighboring countries. america has to make that constructive decision. we're intervening in a constructive way where we look at the region and interconnection of the region or pull out completely and let the region handle itself. >> right. we're not -- u.s. -- maybe that's a possibility, right? i mean, maybe that would be for the best for everyone, if the troops left saudi arabia -- >> but it's not going to happen. >> right, exactly. it's not going to happen. >> all right. >> so then the question is, i mean, because it is striking to me, like the syria question, right? so now you look at what's happening with isis. i think everyone looks at isis basically across the political spectrum in the world and is aghast. right? i mean, i done 't -- like -- it ghastly. everyone looks at isis and thinks oh my god. >> even al qaeda. >> you guys are too violent for us. stop it. stop dehe hebeheading everyone. >> al qaeda is not a -- >> ali, i see an interventionist
story about this which we're going to get to in a second about a certain critic who ga gave -- u.s. not intervening in syria, gave rise to isi. i see an anti-interventionist thing that says it's the u.s. war in iraq that brought isis about. right? >> well, at least one of those things is true. and the problem is that this is all a counterfactual argument, right? >> yes. >> it's not clear that had we armed some mythical moderate syrian opposition that we didn't know existed and was, you know, just fragments of little pieces of rebel forces in 2012, would that have stopped isis' rise? maybe. there's nothing definite about that. but what it definitely would have done is flooded the zone with weapons. for all we know, those weapons could have gotten in isis' hand earlier than iraqi troops stripping off their uniforms and abandoning their artillery. because, you know, if you go back and read the news articles from 2012, you know, you can go back and read the "new yorker," john lee anderson was in
northern syria and was writing about even how the fsa commanders can't identify which brigades are theirs. they didn't know what they were, yet alone we go in there and dispose weapons. it's counterfactual based on a context that never existed. >> here's where i feel like we arrived on this summer on fire. you look across the region. it feels like, oh my god, it's all burning. this isn't me as an american looking over there. >> no, it is burning. >> that maybe that's just what the world looks like as america recedes from the role it's been playing. >> which is inexorable or there's something we can do about it. >> that's the question. maybe that's just like you stare into the void of what this new era looks like which is the world's on fire and the only upside is there aren't american troops burned in the fire. >> that's way too pessimistic for me, chris. nonmilitary ways to deal with stuffs she was talking about the saudis. in 2012 we were begging the
saudis to arm the fsa which i think would have still been a task, but we were begging them to it and instead, they armed isis. >> right. >> they helped to create the -- >> thank you, our great ally. >> these are our allies. >> zainab salbi, and foreign policy analyst, ali gharib. one somewhat surprising critic or maybe not, attacking him for being weak. we'll talk more about that, next. if energy could come from anything?.
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president obama's secretary of state until early this year broke dramatically with the president's foreign policy in an interview published yesterday in the "atlantic" magazine. many have taken it as a sign clinton tried to distance herself from the president ahead of a potential run for the white house. asked about the obama doctrine, archite characterized as can't do stupid stuff, clinton said, great nations need organizing principles and don't do stupid stuff is not an organizing principle. while he said it would not help turn the tide in syria's bloody civil war, clinton said, a failure to help build up a credible fighting force, the people who are the originators against assad, the fail wrure to that left a huge vacuum which they have now filled. joining me, author of "fall of
nixon, rise of reagan." the entire book, the opus that you just produced which is phenomenal, and everyone should read basically says the 1970s was a period of instability. the world felt like it was aflame. america was kind of staring into the void caused by watergate and vietnam, wrestling coming to terms of what we were as a nation. reagan swept in to say, don't think about all that. we're the exceptional city on the hill. we're the greatest nation in the world. when i read that lintclinton interview, it felt to me she was channeling reagan in a similar political moment in america. >> yeah. i think that "the new york times" made the same comparison. i think the interview was very, very worrisome. i think that when robert kagan said that he considers hillary clinton a fellow neoconservative, that's exactly what he was referring to. i think she kind of bolt forward
with this human beiberistic nott america could heal the world with its touch. everything bad that's happened in foreign policy has sprung directly from that idea. i mean, when lyndon johnson thought he could build a tva in the river delta. years later you have 58,000 lives of americans expended and not one but three nations laid to waste. and people were taking a good, hard look at that hubris in the 7 '70s. it dismays me that hillary clinton hasn't learned that lesson. >> part of me, i think we have the tendency to read her through such a political prism, she's figure trying to calculate her pitch to the political whims of the moment. i think everyone looks back at the iraq war vote and said she
voted that way because that's the way the politics was. she really does have these views on foreign policy. >> yeah, i think she's been pretty darn consistent and she's been on the side of intervention and all these debates in the state department. and the problem with it is the kind of nuance that barack obama has been trying to introduce into foreign policy really kind of speaks to the complexity of the world. and by trying to kind of explain away that complexity, you're going to get us into the same blunders over and over again. now, if it's the fact that she wants to govern like ronald reagan did in foreign policy, let's review that record. it's kind of paradoxical. he only committed troops once in tiny grenadea and eliminated a class of nuclear weapons and looked at the complicated morass of mutual assured destruction and mathematical abstractions
and said let's get rid of nuclear weapons. i'd love to see that vision from hillary clinton. trying to be like reagan, she may be more like reagan's rhetoric and more like his reality. >> rick pearlstein, the book is " " "invisible bridge." "the rachel maddow show" begins now. good to see you again. it's good if be back. thanks to you at home for staying with us. it's fogood to be back. thanks to steve kornacki for filling in. there's a lot going on. a lot of it oversea, none of which is good right now. also a lot of news at home, politics and otherwise. there's a ton of stuff to talk about tonight. and we do have a lot planned for the show. but the very unexpected and late breaking news that has come as a real shock tonight, particularly to those of us who have grown up stewed in american political and popular culture, is that one of the most recognizable and iconic comedic talents of this jen